|The choir screen at Le Faouët, in Brittany - 1480s|
|A not great shot of saint Fiacre at Le Faouët|
Even the plainer stuff of art history I can't wait to do: the restoration records (surprisingly few, so judging the polychromy will be tricky, but Vannes's archives have good stuff here); the movements into national patrimony (the French departmental archive system is ridiculously well organized - ask any researcher of Italian or German art; or, just try the diocesan archives: at Chartres, there was no catalogue of holdings, it was all in Abbé Bizeau's head, he said smiling and tapping his temple). The patronage is already terrific: a nobleman by the name of Olivier de Loergan, and so to begin to understand his motivations and his other commissions and (gulp, actually, much work needs to be done here - but I'm also vowing to not go all the way down the rabbit hole of noble patronage - I've always been more interested in popular reception anyway, and the ecocriticism will push me back out there). [Later edit: most peculiar: I've now found a source that cites Olivier as a sculptor "anobli par le duc en 1469" - wow! really? will have to investigate]. All of this is for an article for a special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on late medieval devotion - there's great interest in materiality and devotion, and the wonderful editors agreed this site could provide some good thinking on it all. So, I will witness, photograph, read, think, and write for 10 glorious days. Ultimately, it's a time to flesh things out, to put Tim Morton's Ecology without Nature into practice, to let Ian Bogost's Alien Phenomenology dance in my brain, and to, as ever I think, see if I can catch a glimpse of this other, medieval, world.
|... "and other delitefull smells"|